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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1985 Oct;63(10):1239-44.

Relationship between levels and uptake of serotonin and high affinity [3H]imipramine recognition sites in the rat brain.


High affinity [3H]imipramine binding, endogenous levels of serotonin and noradrenaline, and serotonin uptake were determined in brain regions of rats with selective destruction of serotonergic neurons by 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT), of adrenergic neurons by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), and of rats treated with reserpine. Neonatal treatment with 5,7-DHT resulted in a significant decrease of both serotonin levels and density (Bmax) of high affinity [3H]imipramine binding sites in the hippocampus. In contrast, an elevation of serotonin levels and an increase in Bmax of [3H]imipramine binding were noted in the pons--medulla region. No changes were observed in the noradrenaline content in either of these regions. Intracerebral 6-OHDA lesion produced a drastic suppression of noradrenaline levels in cerebral cortex but failed to alter the binding affinity (KD) or density (Bmax) of [3H]imipramine recognition sites. A single injection of reserpine (2.5 mg/kg) resulted in marked depletion of both serotonin (by 57%) and noradrenaline (by 86%) content and serotonin uptake (by 87%) in the cerebral cortex but had no significant influence of the parameters of high affinity [3H]imipramine binding in this brain region. The results suggest that high affinity [3H]imipramine binding in the brain is directly related to the integrity of serotonergic neurons but not to the magnitude of the uptake or the endogenous levels of the transmitter, and is not affected by damage to noradrenergic neurons or by low levels of noradrenaline.

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